Thursday, March 26, 2020

When the World Paused - Day 8

Today started far too early. At about 4am, The Impossible Girl crawled into my bed... only to find me trying to put together a grocery order that we could pick up in a reasonable (like 48 hour-ish) time frame. So any ideas of getting back to sleep together weren't happening. Once it was done, I decided to give in to the request for screen time and let her watch some Disney+ on my laptop while I tried to sleep for a bit longer. It was broken sleep, but we ended up not getting out of bed until after 8:30. I definately needed the lie-in. 
In fact, today she didn't get out of her PJs until it was time for a bath and new PJs before bed.

Playdough learning via the web and her awesome school teachers.

We learned about yellow and blue making green, and she also built a frog.
 After school time (via Facebook live) was done, we 'visited' the San Diego Zoo and I read to her about the Dung Beetle, Artic Fox, and butterflies before diving into the shower so we could go out and pick up a School Lunch. These have been amazingly helpful stop-gaps since it takes us a little longer to get groceries right now, and we're still figuring out the changes in our day to day operations. They help us stretch the supplies just a little bit longer.  She really enjoys going through the bags to see what she gets too.
TWO Chocolate Milks?! JACKPOT! 
 One thing I do know is that I'm not willing to brave a grocery store with a kid that gets pnuemonia almost every time she gets an upper respiratory virus. That viral asthma is a pain to deal with anyway - COVID -19 not withstanding. And the other part of that is, I am her caregiver. I can not get sick. The nearest family that might be able to help is over an hour away. So the goal is - don't get sick and don't give germs either.

But some days, we just miss people and we miss them hard. Some friends dropped off a Leapster for her to play with. I thought she'd be excited. Instead, she was wrecked. Not at the gift, but because she couldn't play with our friends. She didn't want the present right now. After calming down a little bit, she said the present hurts because she misses her friends. She feels like she's being punished. Well, we've all kind of been 'sent to our room', but it's hard for her to really understand that she didn't do anything wrong. That our friends can't hang out with us, not because of her, but because of germs.

Later that day, one of her teachers sent her her first pen-pal letter. The envelope is adorable, decorated with a hand-drawn Olaf and snowflakes, with an awesome astronaut stamp. She was NOT excited about it, nor wanted anything to do with it. It made her sad all over again.
All I can do is bring my calm to her storm. To understand that she's sad and confused and frustrated and annoyed and a million other innurmerable things. Emotions run high for even the most pragmatic person right now, so I understand she's completely valid in her feelings.

And it likely isn't helpful that she's had a very low grade fever that has come and gone (but other than that and complaing of being tired, basically symptom free).

After reaching out for help, they may have stumbled across the obvious peice I was missing in my acknowledgement of her feelings. I wonder if I've been misunderstanding her sadness as a thing that stands alone. Some reassurance from family helped remind me that sometimes, even when we aren't fixing a problem that may be beyond us to fix - we're doing exactly what we're supposed to be doing.  It was a helpful reminder that my job isn't to fix this. I can't anyway. I can't do a damned thing about the schools being closed. I can't do anything but keep flying solo and figuring this out. What I CAN do (and do do) is give her permission and validation to feel however she's feeling. To hear what she's trying to say and give her a safe space to feel however she needs to feel.

I've always worked hard as a professional to be a coach that is in the trenches with my clients. This long pause in the world has caused me to do more and more of that on the homefront than professionally. It's demanding - and I guess my ask for help was an ask for clarity and some reassurance that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. But the truth is there is a lot of loss right now - a LOT of seperation that we didn't really get to prepare for. But it won't last forever.

It's not 'Stop'.

It's just 'Pause.'

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